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Analyzing Victor Wembanyama’s defensive impact

Wemby’s defensive impact was on full display Sunday night. 

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Wembanyama showcased his defensive dominance in a recent game against the defending champions, the Denver Nuggets, led by the challenging Nicola Jokic. Despite the challenge, the 19-year-old delivered an exceptional performance, tallying six steals and four blocks. This breakdown highlights some key aspects of Wembanyama’s standout night.

Primarily, his defensive awareness and instincts outshine expectations. He demonstrated a natural ability to anticipate the Nuggets’ offensive plays, disrupting their execution effectively. Wembanyama possesses the unique skill to erase any advantage the opposition seeks, showcasing his remarkable defensive capabilities.

However, amidst his defensive masterclass, some glimpses of youthfulness surfaced. In a specific play, Jokic worked Wembanyama with a pump fake, capitalizing on his eagerness to block shots. This occasionally places Wembanyama in vulnerable defensive positions, despite his exceptional shot-blocking range.

Yet, considering his age—he’s only played 17 games in his career—it’s crucial to contextualize his learning curve. Wembanyama acknowledged the significant adjustment required to defend the paint in the NBA during the post-game interview on Sunday. Adapting from never contesting a shooter off screens before training camp to his present performance signifies considerable growth.

The losses are piling up, but Wemby’s swift adaptation and improvement within the league are encouraging. Instead of fixating on short-term results, let’s sit back and enjoy the journey.


This Kevin Garnett edit captures the essence of Wembanyama’s impact, showcasing the former NBA champion’s enthusiasm for the French rookie.

The Oklahoma City Thunders’ Chet Holmgren exhibits impressive skills, but let’s not overlook Wemby in the ongoing Rookie of the Year race.

Furthermore, should Wembanyama be a part of the discussion for the Defensive Player of the Year award? Vegas odds currently stand at 20-1 in his favor, highlighting his potential candidacy.